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Closed-Loop Marketing: Where Demand Gen Is Falling Short

By David Crane

Marketers today are constantly hustling to ensure prospective and existing customers get the info they need when they need it. This is incredibly difficult if customer-facing roles (demand generation, brand management, product marketing, etc.) can’t access the performance data (often enabled by marketing ops) that highlights specific persona needs.

Herein lies the value of a closed marketing loop – it shows marketers:

  • which marketing content is resonating with personas
  • through which channels your personas are most likely to engage
  • which media sources have audiences matching your personas
  • the combination of demand generation tactics that provides maximal ROI
  • where to allocate media and content marketing budget 
  • which demand generation efforts are failing and which are succeeding

…the list of benefits is extensive. But most marketing organizations are falling short due to operational roadblocks that prevent data from being shared between various marketing roles and the media partners that need it.

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3 Imperatives for Fixing Lead Data Quality: From the Experts

By Scott Vaughan

Poor data quality is an issue that comes up daily in both our internal marketing team conversations and with the hundreds of demand marketing and marketing ops teams we closely work with.

We all know it’s a big challenge, yet many of us still struggle to fix it. Why? Because it’s a never-ending quest to get it right and maintain high levels of data accuracy and integrity. 

The good news is there are automation solutions and very clear practices you can deploy to address dirty data challenges that negatively impact customer experience, undermine sales partners’ trust and hamstring your ability to deliver optimal results from your marketing programs.  

This past week I reviewed a few key articles from data experts for a kick in the butt to get out in front of the dirty data issues. It’s a call to arms to proactively implement measures to prevent bad data where possible and manage the health of our prospect and customer data on an ongoing basis.

Here are three solid reads – from Forrester Research, Sirius Decisions and our own Integrate Data Quality Index – that I hope will spark some ideas and provide inspiration to tackle the poor data quality issue in your organization.

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Liz Du on Balancing Outbound & Inbound Marketing [An Interview]

By David Crane

I had a chance to sit down with Liz Du, Senior Manager of Digital Marketing at Seagate Global Online, and discuss her take on current marketing trends, as well as the big things going on at Seagate.

David: Tell us about your professional background and how you got into marketing?

Liz: I was an art major in school so I always had an appreciation for the creative side of marketing. Then early in my career, I got into project management and ultimately had the opportunity to marry the creative and strategic worlds with marketing programs. I’ve spent the last ten-plus years exploring different marketing disciplines in both B2B and B2C environments. Since coming to Seagate four years ago, I’ve been able to apply all that as we span across multiple audiences.

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Six Ways to Repurpose Marketing Content

By David Crane

Content is arguably the marketing strategy of the decade. According to a May 2015 Content Marketing Survey by content marketing agency Castleford, 97% of survey participants plan to increase or retain their current level of content investment, while 76% of their C-level superiors view content marketing positively.

Strong ROI is the influential factor in this positive view of content marketing. But just like every other hot marketing strategy, as more marketing orgs jump into the content game and saturate the industry, maintaining current ROI levels will become increasingly difficult.  And we marketers must be smart about the ways we invest in, develop and distribute content.

One of the best way to ensure continuous content success is through repurposing content – across asset types, campaigns, personas and target markets. Indeed, marketers must consider repurposing content one of the most important drivers of content marketing ROI.

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14 Reasons Manual Demand Generation Marketing Sucks [Infographic]

By Triniti Burton

Being a demand marketer today is pretty exciting. Marketers have more tools and technologies available than ever before to engage people in unique ways and create dazzling customer experiences. If you’re a seasoned marketing pro, chances are your day looks completely different now than it did 10 or 15 years ago… unless you’re responsible for executing outbound demand generation programs. If that’s the case, your job looks a little something like this…

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Lead Velocity: Why It Matters, What to Measure & How to Boost

By David Crane

Lead (or data) velocity is a marketing metric that’s quickly gaining popularity among Marketing Ops and Demand Gen practitioners. And it’s understandable why. Lead velocity is a gauge of several fundamental marketing objectives: sales-marketing alignment, customer experience and marketing-attributed revenue.

We’ll get into much more specific definitions and how to measure velocity later in this post.  At a high level, lead velocity is about speed (e.g., the time it takes for a generated contact to become sales-qualified lead) and conversions rates (the percentage of leads that convert through various points in the customer acquisition funnel).

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How to Make Your Content Marketing Stand Out and Activate Customers

By Mary Wallace

“Slash Splash, Glub Glub...” That’s the sound of our customers and prospects drowning in a sea of our content.  We’re bombarding them on a daily basis, using a variety of “highways” to reach them: emails, websites, social media, phone calls, and the list goes on.  Much of it’s just sand sifting back and forth in an ocean that our customers have emotionally unsubscribed from. 

Despite industry saturation, content marketing remains incredibly important. It’s the key conduit to communicating with prospects and customers. With 30-million pieces of new content created every day, what can we marketers do to ensure our content stands out and activates customers?

There’s no silver bullet for effective content. However, there are smart, proven ways for creating valuable content that engages prospects and creates customers

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Your Best Marketing Data Provider May Be Right Underneath Your Nose

By Scott Vaughan

Data is today’s marketing currency. We harvest it wherever we can – via paid, owned and earned media. And this harvesting is facilitated by numerous tech and services providers: known-data appending plug-ins like Dun & Bradstreet and Social123; anonymous data marketplaces such as (Oracle) BlueKai; and currently the hottest of the data sources, predictive analytics providers such as Lattice Engines and 6Sense.

But what’s almost always neglected in the marketing data discourse: the media companies that have been generating traffic, prospects and customers for marketing clients for years.

Marketers shouldn’t neglect these sources and their evolving capabilities. Top-tier media companies aren’t the “lead-gen sources” of old – they’re the “data-gen providers” of tomorrow.

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Why Sharing Is Caring About Media ROI

By Ryan Maher

June 25, 2015

We marketers are getting better at breaking down departmental silos and sharing standardized data within our organizations. Yet, we’re still failing miserably when it comes to sharing information with external media partners and lead vendors – often the primary sources of our sales pipeline. This isn’t smart marketing. We need to communicate with our media partners, providing the necessary information they need to do their best work and maximize media ROI.

You may have incredibly strong media relationships and supporting tech, but unless all parties share common definitions of success, more often than not, you’ll be disappointed with the results. Defining KPIs and communicating performance data with media partners drastically increases your odds of paid media success. 

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5 Actions To Drive Sales-Marketing Alignment & Business Performance

By Zak Pines

This post was originally published on the MoneyballMarketer.com blog on June 13, 2015.

We all know sales & marketing alignment is extremely important. This Kapost article references an Aberdeen Group stat that “Companies with strong sales and marketing alignment achieve 20% annual growth rate, and companies with poor sales and marketing alignment have a 4% revenue decline.” (Now if I could just find that pesky Aberdeen stat... although this stat is referenced everywhere, I’m citing the Kapost article because I couldn’t find  a public version of the original stat from Aberdeen).

Knowing it’s important isn’t enough though, as actually attaining true sales & marketing alignment is challenging.

To that end, these are five specific actions that I’ve found sales and marketing can do together to drive alignment, and achieve the resulting business performance. I choose the word “sales and marketing” and “together” very precisely, as the key to this is that equal responsibility and commitment is taken from both groups within the company’s revenue team.

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